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Debt of Bones (Sword of Truth Prequel Novel)
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199 of 208 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Terry Goodkind has become well-known amongst fantasy fans for his epic "Sword of Truth" series. Now, with "Debt of Bones", he revisits the world of his creation with a tale of old history.
This is a story about Zedd, the First Wizard of the Midlands. Readers of Goodkind's books will know some of the events that took place when Zedd's wife was killed and his daughter's life also at stake; now the story is revealed in detail. Grieving, bitter and disillusioned, Zedd closets himself from the world and its troubles. It takes a courageous young woman with a desperate need of her own to reach him and convince him to help her. The events that follow will change the world and shape the course of history.
Although I enjoyed reading this book- Goodkind's skill at weaving a convincing, enthralling story is as obvious as ever- I was somewhat disappointed with it. The book is quite short, more a novella than a novel, and is largely a reworking of a story by the same title that was previously published as part of an anthology, "Legends". Excellent novels can sometimes be produced in a similar manner, and many classic books (especially of the sci-fi genre) had their start as a short story. However, I feel that in this case, little has been added to the original in terms of quality or quantity.
In summary: I will always read Goodkind's books, but this one wasn't as worthwhile as I have come to expect.
7 stars out of 10
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A most pleasant one hour diversion! In Debt of Bones, Goodkind has not only provided us with an excellent tale in its own right but has filled in some of the background to the war with the D'Harans, the Rahl dynasty, and the inside story on the history of the land outside the Midlands where no magic is allowed. It is quite astounding that Debt of Bones has all the requisites of a full length fantasy novel - good, evil, war, magic, epic battles, love, loyalty, treason, deceit and treachery - but he has managed to squeeze it into the size of a novella barely over 100 pages.

Goodkind, no doubt, achieved this brevity by omitting detailed explanations of some of the things that his fans would already understand - the devastating results of the touch of the Mother Confessor and the sadistic behaviour of the Mord Sith, for example. If you're a first-time Goodkind reader, my prediction is that you'll feel quite bewildered at times. Don't start here! Set this aside and go read the first three or four novels in The Sword of Truth series.

Then come back and pick this up again for a thoroughly enjoyable quickie!
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This Terry Goodkind Novel was not as interesting as the original Sword of Truth books but it wasn't bad!I am a freshman in high school and it took me 2 1/2 hrs to read; so it is not nearly as long as the others.I really liked it because it was a chance to get reunited with Zedd. we learn what happens before Richard is born and how the war with Panis Rahl and D'Hara ends. The boundaries are created and some new caracters are even introduced. I recommend this book to someone who has already read the sword of truth series or to someone who has a new interest.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
While this book wasn't on the same level as the other books by Goodkind (meaning that its not an epic story of 700+ pgs) this short novella is still great. It tells a story that has desperately needed some clarification in relatively few pages. Zedd is a badass who cannot be stopped and the other characters in this one don't distract the reader from the main purpose of the story. I can understand how some fans could be disapointed, but you can't expect an epic tale about a time gone past and a story that you already know the outcome of. For anyone interested in Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, I would reccomend this book. It doesn't take much time (one day) and adds to the realism of Goodkind's world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Finally, Mr. Goodkind puts out a story that is a good read from cover to cover. It is enjoyable in the way his first books were. This story takes place before any of the charecters that we so love (Richard, Kahlan, Cara) are born. Zedd is a young man and his wife has been killed by The Lord Rahl of the time. Zedd is about to give up on everyone when a young woman comes into the picture and helps steer him back.

This book is very short in comparison to his other books, but that is not necessarily bad. The short length means that the book has to concentrate on the story and its characters and as a result you don't get the pages of preaching that has become Goodkind's trademark as of late. I recommend this book to all Sword of Truth readers and escpecially to those longing for a return to Goodkind's earlier writing style.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I've read some of the reviews here, and many of them mention how short the book is. Yes, the book is short, but the impact of the book is greater due to its briefness. It would be nice to have a full-length novel of the time before the boundaries, but Goodkind has decided to give us as readers a teaser, a little tidbit of history to whet our appetites. Will Goodkind give us a full-length novel of pre-Boundary times? Maybe he will, maybe he won't. The point is that the brevity of Debt of Bones is part of the reason it's such a good story. It's also a nice change of pace for Goodkind, whose novels are very epic and grand in scope. Maybe he was just trying to do what other great authors have done, stretching his skills to see what he can accomplish. Goodkind has broadened his writing style to include small, self-contained stories as well as grand, world-sweeping epics. Kudos to you, Terry Goodkind.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Four stars for the story, one star for this printing. This is a good prequel to the Sword of Truth series, giving background information on Zedd. Don't bother buying it as a separate book, when you can get basically the same story in the LEGENDS collection of short stories. Plus, there's a short story by George R.R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire prequel) in the same book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Its interesting to know something about Zedd-pre-grandfather time. But it was too short of a book. Other topics of interest might be how Richard was conceived, the life story of the Confessors, the old Prelate's life. But this book brought out the view of the pre-world from his other books were derived
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is not one of TG best but i may just be biased because it is so short - the longer the better, but Debt of Bones is Zeds story set just after his wife has died, he is feeling disillusioned with the world and sees no reason to help it.
But buyers beware i must stress that this is basicly a reissue of a story (with only a few changes and a few pictures but there are no major changes to the plot) that was first published in an anthology called Legends.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am writing to provide a little perspective after reading other reviews of Debt of Bones. I own the book Legends (several wonderful stories by several great authors including Goodkind). If you are familiar with Legends you will know that this is where Debt of Bones was originally published. It was published several years after Wizards' First Rule. While I cannot say definitely I think that Debt of Bones may have been the beginnings of Terry's ideas for SOT. It feels like he was a new writer learning his craft and testing out concepts. Also if you read Wizard's First Rule, or any of SOT, Debt of Bones doesn't make a lot of sense. Nowhere do in SOT do Zedd and Abby seem to have any prior knowledge of each other. Even after Zedd removes the wizard's web in Wizard's First Rule, which may have prevented Abby from recognizing him at first, none of their subsequent encounters seem to have the feeling of a shared past. Honestly I think that when Legends was published they asked Terry to contribute and he polished up his original notes a little and it became the story we read in Legends. Of course with SOT becoming so popular and now with the TV series, Legend of the Seeker, the publisher is looking for a way to make even more money out of us readers. My advise - read DOB in Legends as it was originally released. Even if you don't like it you'll get some other good stories with it. But take DOB for what it is, the bones (pun intended) of an idea for an epic fantasy which when fleshed out became SOT. Only if you are a collector and want it for your library should you spend $8 to buy it new. Of course if you are really interested in having it as part of your collection try to find the original illustrated edition.
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